10-16-2013, 11:54 PM
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My opinion is to only buy custom-made saddles, and only ever have (except when I lived in Jordan), and in doing that you can get a huge amount of information from the saddler. The question is if you are willing to scrape and save the money for a good custom-built saddle. It might be tough doing it, but, as someone who has bought three custom built saddles (2 for me and 1 for my brother[I built another myself]) I can tell you that it is more than worth it if you find a good saddler. If they are well built (and looked after) they will outlast your grandchildren; and mine have never made a horse sore.
The problem is that what many people think about saddle fit is actually nonsense, and any advice you are likely to get from non-professionals should probably be taken with a large grain of salt. If you go to a good saddler and explain what you want he/she will be able to tell you what is possible, the range of different horse shapes and sizes that will fit into what range of different tree measurements (because it is a range, and type of horse) and so on. When I say go to a good saddler, I don’t mean go to a saddle shop and ask them, they will most likely just want you to buy a saddle from them, find an actual saddle maker.